reflections on the technium

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” — Alan Kay

Brown Bag at the Movies – Selected technical topics(29)

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For this installment of Brown Bag at the Movies we will be viewing (abstract below):

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CEP COMMENT:  

Code Hero: This Game Teaches You How to Make Games
<http://fora.tv/2012/05/20/Code_Hero_This_Game_Teaches_You_How_to_Make_Games>
21:48
ABSTRACT

“98% of kids are gamers. Can games teach 100% to code? Code Hero is a game that teaches how to make games with a code ray that shoots Javascript in Unity3D so you learn as you play to make games that make all knowledge playable. <http://primerlabs.com/>

Bio

Alex Peake <http://www.alexpeake.com/hackthefuture/>
“Alex Peake is the founder and CEO of Primer Labs, a start-up that creates endless learning games to make all knowledge playable. Alex founded the alternative fashion company Tactical Corsets in 2009. Alex was the editor of Agile Journal, a web & mobile applications developer at Sling, and lead animation editor at Atomic Cartoons.

“From a young age, Alex believed that games were going to change the world and he set out to gather the pieces to make it happen. His 3rd grade Open Alternative School allowed students to learn at their own pace, so he and his peers made a competitive game out of completing grade levels as fast as they could. In 4th grade, he designed his first RPG called Realms and taught himself C and HyperCard to computerize it. In middle school he divided his time between all-laptop Computer Immersion and mentoring with Professor Dave Fracchia in the Graphics Lab at Simon Fraser University.

“He created an online empire simulation game called Mage Princes using play-by-email turn files to bypass FirstClass BBS systems’ lack of game support. Hundreds of players signed up to pay for the sequel which he planned to include more sophisticated military, economic and tradecraft RPG elements to allow players to cooperatively build nations.

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CEP COMMENT:  

The Next Generation: How DARPA Democratizes Design
<http://fora.tv/2012/05/19/The_Next_Generation_How_DARPA_Democratizes_Design>
25:04
ABSTRACT

“In this presentation, LTC Nathan Wiedenman, Program Manager for DARPA’s Adaptive Vehicle Make portfolio of programs, describes several of the agency’s advanced manufacturing initiatives. The AVM portfolio is focused on compressing development timelines by a factor of at least five and opening the aperture for innovation to a broader community through a series of design prize challenges. Separate from AVM, the MENTOR program is focused on inspiring the next generation of innovators by introducing students at 1,000 high schools to distributed digital design and programmable manufacturing technologies.

Bio

Nathan Wiedenman
“Lietenant Colonel (LTC) Nathan Wiedenman, Ph.D., serves as Program Manager for the Adaptive Vehicle Make portfolio of programs in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. His interests lie in the fields of advanced/multi-functional materials, advanced ground vehicle concepts and adaptive manufacturing processes. He earned his B.S. in engineering from Harvey Mudd College, his M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an armor officer, and prior to joining DARPA, he served in and commanded units equipped with several versions of the M1 Abrams main battle tank.

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CEP COMMENT:  

Ken Goldberg: 4 lessons from robots about being human
<http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_goldberg_4_lessons_from_robots_about_being_human.html>
17:44
ABSTRACT

“The more that robots ingrain themselves into our everyday lives, the more we’re forced to examine ourselves as people. At TEDxBerkeley, Ken Goldberg shares four very human lessons that he’s learned from working with robots.

“Ken Goldberg works reflect the intersection of robotics, social media, and art.

BIO

Ken Goldberg: Roboticist <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Goldberg>
“Ken Goldberg works reflect the intersection of robotics, social media, and art.

Why you should listen to him:

Ken Goldberg is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in Robotics, Automation, and New Media at UC Berkeley and holds a position at UC San Francisco Medical School where he researches medical applications for robotics. Born in Nigeria and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Ken hold degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. He is widely recognized as an engineer, a teacher, and an artist – receiving the Joseph F. Engelberger Robotics Award in 2000, the IEEE Major Educational Innovation Award in 2001, and Isadora Duncan Award in 2006 for his Ballet Mori project, performed by the San Francisco Ballet. His works have been exhibited at the Whitney Biennial in New York City, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and the Ars Electronica in Linz. His book, The Robot in the Garden, was published in March of 2000 by the MIT Press.

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CEP COMMENT:  

David MacKay: A reality check on renewables
<http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_reality_check_on_renewables.html>
18:48
ABSTRACT

“How much land mass would renewables need to power a nation like the UK? An entire country’s worth. In this pragmatic talk from TEDxWarwick, David MacKay tours the basic mathematics that show worrying limitations on our sustainable energy options and explains why we should pursue them anyway.

“As an information theorist and computer scientist, David MacKay uses hard math to assess our renewable energy options.

BIO

David MacKay: Professor <http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/mackay/>
“As an information theorist and computer scientist, David MacKay uses hard math to assess our renewable energy options.

Why you should listen to him:

“David MacKay is a professor of Natural Philosophy in the Physics department at the University of Cambridge and chief scientific adviser to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. He received a degree in Experimental and Theoretical Physics from Trinity College and a PhD. in Computation and Neural Systems as a Fulbright Scholar at Caltech. In 1992, MacKay was made the Royal Society Smithson Research Fellow at Darwin College at University of Cambridge and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in May 2009. He has also taught at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cape Town. In 2003, his book Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms was published and, in 2008, he self-published Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air. Both books are fully available for free online.

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OTHER NEWS:  NA

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CEP COMMENT:  

TechShop: Democratizing Access To The Tools of Innovation
<http://fora.tv/2012/05/19/TechShop_Democratizing_Access_To_The_Tools_of_Innovation>
26:18
ABSTRACT

“A hundred dollars a month now gives you access to the tools of the Industrial Revolution for the first time in 250 years. Mark Hatch will show examples of makers who are changing the world with access to machines, some training, and a shared workspace. <http://www.techshop.ws/> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TechShop>

BIO

Mark Hatch <http://www.techshop.ws/founders.html>
“During Mark’s first two years on the management team, TechShop tripled revenue and memberships and became a leading brand in the emergent “Maker-Space” business. Before coming to TechShop in October of 2007, Mark was the president of GL. Services, a Business Process Outsourcing company, where he doubled the number of companies served by strategically launching new service offerings. Mark also served in management roles at Avery Dennison and Kinko’s. He has his BA in economics from UC Irvine, an MBA from the Drucker School at Claremont, and is a former Green Beret.,

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CEP COMMENT:  

An Audience with Neil Armstrong
<http://thebottomline.cpaaustralia.com.au/#episode1>
Part 1 15:12
Part 2 13:20
Part 3 13:40
Part 4 13:39
ABSTRACT

“In this four part series the first man to walk on the moon, gives a personal commentary on Apollo 11’s historic lunar landing, his thoughts on leadership and taking risks to innovate for the future.

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CEP COMMENT:  

Bunnie Huang: The Secrets of Manufacturing Open Hardware
<http://fora.tv/2012/05/19/Bunnie_Huang_The_Secrets_of_Manufacturing_Open_Hardware>
28:44
ABSTRACT

“Bunnie will present a retrospective on his experiences manufacturing and selling open source hardware with chumby. He’ll share some secrets of the trade, as well as summarize key challenges encountered in going to retail, and operating a startup in the consumer electronics market.
<http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/30/makes-exclusive-interview-with-andrew-bunnie-huang-the-end-of-chumby-new-adventures/>

BIO

Bunnie Huang <http://bunniestudios.com/blog>
“Bunnie is a hardware hacker whose most recent contributions include the portfolio of Chumby hardware products.

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CEP COMMENT:  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd’s_Register>

A.1. at Lloyd’s
<http://film.britishcouncil.org/a1-at-lloyds>
9:10
ABSTRACT

The important role played by Lloyd’s of London in world shipping, using the ‘100 A1’ rated S.S. Armadillo as an example.

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CEP COMMENT:  

DCC 2011 – PhoneSat: sub $10k spacecraft
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq6z-T2fXUI&feature=player_embedded>
39:13
ABSTRACT

Really? Use an off the shelf smart phone as the guts of a satellite? Yep, that’s what Mike Safyan KJ6MVL is doing over at NASA. He described the project in his talk at the 2011 ARRL/TAPR DCC in Baltimore.

Of course, todays phones have way more computer power than typical satellites, updated phones are released like every 5 minutes, and they’re dirt cheap (relatively). But can they hold up and do the job in the rigors of space? So far, Mike’s sent his phone up on a near space balloon and a small rocket, and yes, it works. A full cube-sat launch is next for Mike and crew.

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CEP COMMENT:  

2011 DCC – The Village Telco
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H1OVH1FwTQ&feature=relmfu>
56:06
ABSTRACT

In East Timore, there is no local phone service to speak of. Most people have cell phones, but they can’t afford to use them. That costs 25 cents per minute, for people who earn about a buck and a half per day. That situation is duplicated in developing nations around the world.

Australian Amateur Radio Operator David Rowe VK5DGR is part of a group that’s trying to change it. They’ve engineered a local phone system that’s cheap to install and almost free to use. It’s based on WiFi mesh networking, and it’s being tested in South Africa and East Timore. They call it The Village Telco. And it’s working.

David related the story of the Village Telco at the 2011 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference, at the Saturday Night Banquet. The DCC is an annual, three-day weekend conference covering digital communications in Amateur Radio. On Saturday night, a banquet features a speaker, usually talking about some personal aspect of their involvement in technology. We present David’s story here.

David also addressed the conference on his development of CODEC 2, an open-source, low bit-rate vocoder for digital voice in Amateur Radio. That program will be offered soon, along with the rest of the talks at the 2011 DCC.

<http://www.rowetel.com/blog/>

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CEP COMMENT:  

2011 DCC – FUNCUBE Dongle
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFSF-HoWe40&feature=relmfu>
50:49
ABSTRACT

The FUNcube is a SDR receiver on a USB Dongle. Howard Long G6VLB traveled to the 2011 ARRL/TAPR DCC from London to address the group on this project. He details the trials and tribulations behind designing and manufacturing what turned out to be an extremely popular product.

The primary aim of the FUNcube Dongle is to interest young students in science, satellites and radio. The FUNcube iteslf is a satellite that will be launched specifically to be monitored by all those dongles that Howard has sold.
<http://www.funcubedongle.com/>
<http://funcube.org.uk/>

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CEP COMMENT:  

Catarina Mota: Smart Materials for DIY Projects
<http://fora.tv/2012/05/20/Catarina_Mota_Smart_Materials_for_DIY_Projects>
17:25
ABSTRACT

“Smart materials are an important component of the future of manufacturing and tech crafts. This presentation will go over some examples of smart materials, the issues we currently face, and the next steps in making smart materials more accessible to all.

Bio

Catarina Mota
“PhD fellow, co-founder of openMaterials and altlab, member of NYCResistor, co-chair of the Open Hardware Summit, and TEDGlobal 2012 fellow.

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Written by Chuck Petras

December 2, 2012 at 10:25

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